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Shadeside

By MultiMapper
Copyright ©2002-2017 MultiMapper.
All Rights Reserved.

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Part 6: New Blood

Chapter 23

Agent Roberts didn't know what to expect, but was nonetheless surprised when they arrived at the secluded mansion on the hill.

"We'll need to stay in the car until they get Devin inside. If he were to bite one of them, they'd just have a bite to deal with. If he bites one of us, it could kill us." Kevin calmly explained.

"Wouldn't it just turn us into werewolves or vampires or something?"

"That's possible. But a certain percentage of people exposed to the transformative can't adapt to the change and die in transition."

"You said that your family protects the Shadesiders. Do they ever end up biting one of you?"

"There have been a few times when it came down to a choice of their survival or ours. In those cases, we've willingly sacrificed ourselves so that they might live."

"How can you live with that, knowing that you might have to give up your life for someone else?"

"They're our purpose. How could we go on living knowing that we could have done something to save them?"

"I can't imagine having such a clear vision of your purpose in life."

"We are truly blessed."

* * * * *

As soon as Devin had been carried inside, Kevin and Agent Roberts finally got out of the car.

As impressive as the entryway was with its immense porch leading to elegantly styled double doors, it paled in comparison to the spectacle of the grand ballroom inside.

Agent Roberts was frankly in awe of the enormous room styled with old world elegance. The curved staircase drew his eyes up to the balcony surrounding the room and on up to the crystal chandelier.

"What kind of place is this?" Agent Roberts whispered as he stared.

"This is Rafe and Dodger's home. I guess when you have an extended lifespan, you have time to make things be exactly the way you want them."

"Extended lifespan?"

"That's another benefit of the transformative... or maybe it's a curse. I guess it depends on how you choose to live your life."

"So when you said that Dr. Killian had been working for centuries..."

"Yeah. I was speaking literally."

"Where do we go now?"

"I'm guessing that we'll need to go to the basement. I can't think of anyplace else that Devin could be kept without wrecking the place." Kevin said as he walked to a door that was nearly hidden amongst all the ornate woodwork.

Agent Roberts followed along silently, not knowing what to expect.

* * * * *

"Be ready to run back upstairs. It's still possible that they could lose control of him." Kevin warned as they slowly started down.

Agent Roberts had his hand on his gun and was ready to run at the first sign of trouble.

As they descended the stairs, Agent Roberts could hear growling and frantic voices.

"He broke the handcuffs!"

"That's okay. Just finish his feet."

"Have you got him? I need to get him some juice."

"Yeah. Go ahead. We just have to finish tying him down."

As they continued down the stairs, Agent Roberts was finally able to see the expansive room.

His attention was immediately drawn to the crude wooden chair where Devin was being restrained.

"Are you sure that this will hold him?" Lane asked as he continued to wrap the struggling boy's forearms with heavy wire.

"He's weak from hunger so yeah, I'm sure." A young man answered as he crossed the room carrying a large sports drink bottle.

"If this is him being weak, I don't want to see what he's like when he's strong." Lane said frankly.

"That reminds me. Since you brought him here, it's going to be up to you to take care of him. You'll need to see that he's fed and watered and remember to clean up after him."

"Dodger! Isn't that kinda cold blooded? I mean, considering that Devin was a perfectly normal kid just a few days ago?" Lane asked challengingly.

"You're right. That was totally inappropriate of me." Dodger easily admitted, then added, "But still, remember what I said when it's time for 'walkies'."

"I don't know anything about werewolves. Is it even possible to potty train or housebreak them?" Duran asked thoughtfully.

"I don't know either. With any luck, maybe Rafe will be able to come up with something to help him before we have to find out." Dodger said hopefully.

"I think we've got him as secure as we're going to get him. Are you ready to feed him now?" Lane asked cautiously.

"Here you go." Dodger said as he offered the sports drink bottle.

Lane flashed him a dirty look before reluctantly accepting the drink.

Dodger smiled with satisfaction, then seemed to notice Agent Roberts in attendance.

"Hello. My name is Dodger Tribodeaux and this is my house. Are you the FBI agent that they were telling me about?"

"That's right. Agent Shawn Roberts." Shawn cautiously responded.

"Lane said that it was important for you to be here, but I haven't been filled in on the 'why'." Dodger finished with a significant look at Lane.

"He's been like this toward me ever since I married his nephew." Lane said to Agent Roberts with a slight eyeroll.

It was only then that Agent Roberts realized that Lane was holding the sports bottle forward so that Devin could drink from it.

"The timing just happens to be a coincidence." Dodger said as he tried to restrain a smile.

"Face it Lane, no one will ever be good enough for his nephew." Kevin said, not even bothering to hide his grin.

"Let's go have a seat and leave the boys to handle this. You, too, Kevin. We haven't visited for a while." Dodger suggested as he indicated a small sitting area across the room.

"Have you heard anything from Brian and Evan?" Kevin asked as he started walking.

Agent Roberts followed along, but kept at least some of his attention on the 'werewolf' across the room.

"No. But that's not unusual. I think the last that we heard they were visiting some acquaintances in Eastern Europe and introducing the boys to them, but you might ask Rafe about that when he gets home. As you might expect, he has more contact with his parents than I do."

"I'll remember to ask him." Kevin said simply, then added, seemingly as an afterthought, "After all the years of watching over Evan and his mother, it feels wrong to me not to know where he is and what he's doing."

"We all knew that it would be a difficult adjustment for you, but Duncan's keeping you busy, isn't he?" Dodger asked as he arrived at the seating area and motioned for his two companions to take seats.

"Oh sure. I just can't help but miss Evan. He's almost like my own son." Kevin quietly answered.

"Can I get either of you a drink?" Dodger asked as he walked to a mini fridge.

"A coke, if you have one." Kevin immediately answered.

Although Agent Roberts was thirsty, he was wary of accepting food or drinks from a stranger, especially after what had happened earlier in the day.

"No. Thank you." Agent Roberts said quietly.

"Let me know if you get thirsty." Dodger said easily as he popped the top off a coke bottle, then placed it on the coffee table in front of Kevin.

Agent Roberts nodded that he would.

"So, tell me, what brings you here this evening?" Dodger asked curiously as he took his seat.

"I was promised some answers." Agent Roberts said frankly.

"From what Lane told me, he thought that we could explain things to Agent Roberts so that he could be at peace with how we're resolving things. Then, when we're sure that everything's going to be okay, you could suppress his memories without causing him lasting mental damage." Kevin carefully explained.

"Lane seems to have an almost instinctive understanding of how the thrall interacts with the Brightsider psyche. I'll trust him to know what he's talking about." Dodger said thoughtfully to Kevin, then looked to Agent Roberts and said, "You may have to wait for Rafe for some of your answers, but I'll be happy to tell you what I can."

"So Kevin and I are what you call Brightsiders, have I got that part right?" Agent Roberts asked to confirm.

"Kevin is a Behilflicher, so while he may technically be thought of as a Brightsider, we tend to think of him in a class all his own. He's trusted without reservation, so generally when we're discussing anything that has to do with Brightsiders, we're not necessarily talking about him."

"Okay. I think I understand that." Agent Roberts said slowly, then continued, "But you, Dr. Killian, Lane and Duran are all Shadesiders, right?"

"Again, it depends on how you look at it. From one perspective, we could all be looked at as Shadesiders, but if you want to get technical about it, I'm probably the only true Shadesider in the group."

"How is that?" Kevin asked with interest.

"Well, Duran and Lane are both Dhamphirs, sometimes called daywalkers. That was kind of a parting gift from Evan, right before he left."

"I'm sorry, but I don't understand." Agent Roberts said honestly.

"It's a long story. Suffice it to say that Evan has the ability to go out into full sunlight. Before he left with Rafe's parents, he passed his ability on to Lane and Duran. I'm not exactly sure what his motivation was for doing that, but they've become invaluable to us, being able to handle things outside the house during the daylight hours." Dodger carefully explained.

"Without their help, I would have been trying to track down and capture Devin all on my own today." Kevin interjected.

"What about Dr. Killian? I saw him at the hospital today. Is he a Dhamphir too?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"No. He's a Shadesider, but he can also be thought of as a Pure Blood. He was never a Brightsider. He was born with the transformative." Dodger carefully explained.

"Does he have some kind of special powers because of it?" Agent Roberts asked curiously.

"It's hard to say what's caused by him being a Pure Blood and what's just because he's so much older than the rest of us. As far as I know, the only thing that's different about him is that he'll presumably be able to father a child. The rest of us are sterile in that sense of the word. For us to reproduce, we have to pass on our transformative to Brightsiders and turn them."

"If your relationship to Dr. Killian is what I think it is, I can't see that his fertility is going to be of much use." Agent Roberts said frankly.

"Well, practice makes perfect." Dodger said with a grin, then continued more seriously, "Even if he were in a straight relationship, the chances of his wife becoming pregnant would be astronomically low. It's just that way with Shadesider women."

A mechanical sound drew Agent Roberts' attention and he turned in time to see the elevator doors open.

"Welcome home." Dodger said with a smile as he stood.

Agent Roberts and Kevin also stood as Dr. Killian walked across the room to join them.

"How is he?" Dr. Killian asked as he looked at Devin with concern.

"We've just gotten him settled in and given him some juice. Lane's been taking good care of him." Dodger said as he wrapped Dr. Killian in a hug.

"Agent Roberts, what a surprise to see you here." Dr. Killian said before returning Dodger's hug firmly.

"I doubt that you're more surprised than I am."

Dr. Killian finished his hug, then released Dodger before asking, "What's changed so that we've invited the FBI over this evening?"

"You'd have to ask Lane to be sure, but the way I understood his reasoning was that if Agent Roberts can see for himself and know without a doubt that Devin's going to be alright, then we can enthrall him and erase his memory of this entire evening and it shouldn't do any damage to him." Dodger said carefully.

"One of these days Lane's going to need to learn that people sometimes have to endure hardships and traumas. Overcoming things like that makes them stronger." Dr. Killian said frankly, then gave a weary sigh before continuing, "But I suppose that since Agent Roberts is already here that we might as well continue with Lane's plan."

"Dr. Killian." Agent Roberts said to draw his attention, "When you drew my blood, did you actually test it for anything, or did you go through all of that just to see if I'd been bitten?"

"Actually, I ran the entire battery of tests, just like I said that I would. They didn't reveal anything to be concerned about, so I forwarded the results to your office... as per your request."

"Thank you." Agent Roberts said cautiously, feeling as though Dr. Killian had somehow evaded his question.

"Well, if you're here to see for yourself what's going to happen to Devin, then I suppose that we'd better get started."

"What are you going to do?"

"First I'll draw some blood and take a good look at that. I have everything I need upstairs in my office. I'll have to wait to decide what to do next until after I've seen what we're dealing with."

"He's a werewolf. What more do you need to know?" Duran asked frankly.

Although the question was asked without sounding derogatory in nature, Agent Roberts still felt that Duran might have been able to find a way to ask more politely.

"I'm going to do my best to determine if anything I'm thinking of doing to treat Devin might cause more harm than good." Dr. Killian answered simply.

"What if you can't find a treatment for him?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Dr. Killian said gravely.

Agent Roberts didn't want to imagine what that might mean.

"Lane, why don't you and Duran do your best to relax Devin while I'm gathering what I need to draw his blood. If you run into any trouble, have Dodger help you." Dr. Killian suggested with renewed motivation.

"Are you sure that you don't want Dodger to try first? He's the strongest with the thrall." Lane asked uncertainly.

"Dodger has the most raw power, but I think that you just about equal him in control. See what you can do." Dr. Killian said decisively.

Lane seemed anxious, but Agent Roberts could also detect the slightest hint of pride that Dr. Killian thought so highly of his ability.

"You'll want to see this." Kevin said from Agent Roberts' side.

"See what?"

"How they use their powers. Not many Brightsiders get to see this."

"If you'll remember, the plan is for me to have my memory wiped out when this is all over."

"Plans can change. Just watch." Kevin said as he focused on what Lane and Duran were doing.

* * * * *

Agent Roberts watched, but wasn't quite sure of what he was supposed to be seeing.

"Here it comes." Kevin whispered.

It took a moment, but then Agent Roberts saw a ghostly golden aura begin to surround Lane. At the same time, to a lesser degree, a similar aura of white began to envelop Duran.

Both young men appeared to be standing silently, but Agent Roberts could feel their calming influence wash over him as though it were a tangible thing.

As the seconds passed, Agent Roberts was suddenly aware of the auras taking on boundaries and forming into recognizable shapes.

"They're wings." Agent Roberts gasped when he realized what he was seeing.

"And halos." Kevin said with a tranquil smile.

Agent Roberts shifted his gaze slightly and saw exactly what Kevin was talking about.

"That's right boys. Just keep soothing him like that. If you can keep him calm long enough, maybe I can get him cleaned up a little." Dodger said before hurrying away.

Agent Roberts finally tore his gaze away from Lane and Duran so that he could get a look at how Devin was doing.

The fangs seemed to have receded as had the claws.

Although the boy's hair was still a wild mess, it didn't look 'unnatural', just messy.

All in all, Devin was once again recognizable as being himself.

Beyond that, Devin seemed to have calmed down to a point where he was able to look around curiously. He didn't look like a frantic trapped animal as much as a curious animal in unfamiliar surroundings.

* * * * *

When Dodger returned, he had a bucket with some soapy water and a few towels.

"Would you like some help with that?" Kevin offered.

"I would appreciate the help, but I think it's still too dangerous for either of you to get near Devin. One little 'nip' and we'll have a whole new set of problems on our hands." Dodger said as he moved close to Devin and was careful not to make any sudden moves.

"That's right. Dodger's just going to clean you up." Lane said in a soothing voice as he maintained his focus on Devin.

It was only then that Agent Roberts realized that Lane and Duran hadn't been speaking the whole time.

"They don't need to talk to enthrall you?" Agent Roberts asked in a whisper.

"No. In fact, they don't even need words to command you. They can compel you to do something without you ever knowing that they did it." Kevin confirmed.

"With a power like that, they could command and control whole cities and governments." Agent Roberts said thoughtfully.

"Shadesiders typically don't like to involve themselves in Brightsider matters any more than they have to. There are a few who work in government offices and other places of power for the good of the whole Shadeside community. But most are content to live their lives and do the things that they enjoy, contributing to the community each in their own way."

"So Dr. Killian researches the transformative. Lane and Duran do things in the daylight that other Shadesiders can't do. What does Dodger do?" Agent Roberts asked curiously.

"When someone gets turned, it's a delicate and dangerous time. Dodger is one of the people who helps people go through transition. From what I understand, the physical danger is secondary to the emotional toll it can take."

"I don't understand." Agent Roberts quietly admitted.

"The transformative is like a disease. When it's introduced to a new organism, there's no telling how it's going to react. Some people die. Other people lose their humanity and it becomes a contest for survival. Being forced to kill someone that you've sworn to help... that's a kind of hurt that doesn't go away."

* * * * *

"How's he doing?" Dr. Killian gently asked as he stepped off the elevator, carrying a black leather case.

"Lane did a good job of calming him. I think he's right where he needs to be." Dodger said seriously.

"Be ready to knock him out, if this agitates him too badly." Dr. Killian warned.

"I'll be ready." Dodger said quietly.

Agent Roberts could tell that, much like Lane, Dodger didn't want to take the chance of hurting Devin.

"Shhh. I'll be done in just a minute." Dr. Killian crooned as he swabbed Devin's arm.

"It'll be okay. We're all here to help you. You're in a safe place." Duran assured Devin quietly.

From Devin's expression, it was obvious that he didn't comprehend their spoken words, but their quiet tones seemed to add to the soothing quality of the 'thrall' that both Duran and Lane were still projecting.

"Almost..." Dr. Killian whispered as he worked quickly and efficiently.

"Almost..." He said again as he waited for the large vial of blood to finish filling.

"That's got it. You did a great job, Devin. What a brave strong boy." Dr. Killian said soothingly as he worked.

"I'd give him a lollipop, but I doubt that he'd be able to manage something like that." Dodger said warmly.

"Now that he's had a few minutes, do you think he could have some more juice?" Duran asked uncertainly.

"Yes. I think that's a very good idea. No matter what happens next, he's probably going to need his strength."

"I'm going to get to work on this blood sample." Dr. Killian said as he gathered his things.

"Do you want me to let you know when dinner is ready or leave you alone?"

"Let me know, but don't get your feelings hurt if I'm in the middle of something and can't put it down right away."

"Don't worry. I understand." Dodger said tenderly.

"Make sure you don't leave Devin unattended. If he were to get frightened, he might end up hurting himself trying to get loose."

"Don't worry. Lane will see that Devin has everything he needs." Dodger said with a grin in his direction.

Lane rolled his eyes, but didn't disagree.

Dr. Killian leaned in and gave Dodger a quick kiss before hurrying toward the elevator.

"Agent Roberts, I'm going upstairs to make dinner. You can go with me if you like, or you can stay down here with Lane and Duran, if you would rather." Dodger said simply, not revealing if he had any preference in the matter.

"If I'm understanding what I'm seeing here, nothing more is probably going to happen until Dr. Killian is done with his tests." Agent Roberts said thoughtfully.

"Likely not." Dodger agreed.

"I'll stay down here with Lane and Duran, in case they need my help for something." Kevin announced.

"Thanks Kevin. We really appreciate not only that you're willing to help us out, but also that you go above and beyond to do more than we'd ever ask of you." Dodger said sincerely.

"It's what I do." Kevin muttered shyly at the praise.

"Before you can think otherwise, you're invited for dinner." Dodger said simply, then started walking toward the elevator.

Agent Roberts glanced around the room, to assure him that there was no compelling reason for him to stay, then hurried to catch up to Dodger.

* * * * *

"So, Agent Roberts, now that we have some time alone, are there any questions that I can answer for you?" Dodger asked as he walked to the refrigerator.

"I don't know if there's a point to me asking questions, since the plan is for me to have my memories wiped out when everything is resolved."

"Since you've been with us, has Duran mentioned his father to you?" Dodger asked as he carried some vegetables to the sink.

"No. I don't think so." Agent Roberts said slowly as he tried to recall.

"My brother Duncan came to live with us, with me and Rafe, about... I guess it was over forty years ago now. It was a difficult decision, but we decided to tell him everything."

"If he couldn't handle it, couldn't you just wipe out his memory, like you're planning to do to me?"

"We could try. When you're dealing with the human mind, things don't always work the way you want them to. Sometimes compulsions break. Sometimes commands are misinterpreted. And sometimes it's like the thing Lane is so worried about, an artificial flaw introduced into a mind can grow and fracture and end up causing deep lifelong damage to a person."

"So, are you saying that you didn't wipe his mind?" Agent Roberts asked slowly.

"To the Brightside world, Duncan's just a delivery driver, but to the entire Shadeside community, he's the 'go-to' guy for just about anything you need done in the world of daylight. He took the fact that he was privy to some forbidden knowledge and found a way to capitalize on it. As it turns out, the whole Shadeside community is better off for it."

"Is this your way of asking if I'll use my FBI resources to help you?" Agent Roberts asked suspiciously.

"No. Not precisely. This is more my way of asking you that if you encounter a Shadesider in the course of your duties, that you at least consider their situation, rather than putting them in a position where you know that they'll be severely injured or discovered." Dodger said carefully as he steadfastly kept his focus on chopping vegetables.

"You want to protect your people. I can respect that." Agent Roberts said slowly.

"This world we're living in, it's changing so quickly that it's all we can do to keep up with it. Somehow Morgan has been able to arrange things so that we've been able to update our identities when we need to, but it's only a matter of time before he's discovered or some technology comes along that we're not able to circumvent."

"What will you do then?"

"I don't know. I think that it's impossible to know until we see the situation we're in when that time comes. The best we can do is prepare ourselves as much as we can and hope that it's enough."

"I still don't know if you're my friend or my enemy."

"I don't know that either, but what I can tell you is that I don't hate you or want to see you come to harm. I don't know if that helps, but maybe it's a start."

"I don't hate you either. I'm afraid of you, but I don't hate you."

Dodger smiled at the frank admission, then said, "I'm afraid of you too, for different reasons."

"Afraid of me? Why?"

"Well, there's the obvious. You could shoot me with that gun you've been keeping cleverly concealed. But beyond that, whether your memory is hidden from you or not, you'll still have the capability of summoning forces that we're unable to stand against. It is fully within your power to destroy our entire way of life."

"I really wish that I could tell you I wouldn't do something like that, but just like with the scenario you described, I can't predict what I'll do at some future time because I don't know who I'll be defending from whom."

"How about we agree that we won't intentionally hurt each other without a compelling reason to do so?" Dodger asked as he looked away from his cutting board.

"I think I can get onboard with that." Agent Roberts finally conceded.

"Good. It may not be 'friendship' in the strictest sense of the word, but maybe we can use it as a foundation."

"I'm sure that there have been very good friendships that have started out with a lot less." Agent Roberts said honestly, then thought to ask, "Do you need some help with that?"

"I wouldn't mind it if you took the packages of meat out of the bottom of the fridge and set them by the stove."

"I can do that."

* * * * *

"Dr. Killian? Dodger asked me to tell you that dinner will be ready in a few minutes. He said that with the boys downstairs, that he's going to serve it at the kitchen table." Agent Roberts said from Rafe's study doorway.

"Come in, Agent Roberts. I'd like for you to see this." Rafe said as he rolled his office chair away from his desk.

Agent Roberts walked slowly into the room, then around the edge of the desk where he could see the computer screens.

"You'll have to tell me what I'm looking at."

"The first screen is a sample of Devin's blood."

"Okay. I've seen quite a few blood samples during my time at the academy and none of them ever looked like this."

"I'm still waiting on a few more tests, but from what I'm seeing here, I'm guessing that Devin has a disorder which causes his body to be unable to produce a particular enzyme which aids in digestion. That, in turn, impacts his entire body, making him malnourished in a very specific way."

"I didn't see any signs of him being malnourished in his pictures. A little underweight maybe, but that's not uncommon for a fifteen year old. With all the starts and stops in growth, they tend to be a little gawky and angular."

"True. I'm sure the malnourishment would have manifested later in his adult years, when his body had reached a point where it couldn't compensate for it any longer."

"Okay. I think I understand that, but what does it have to do with what I'm seeing here?"

"The blood sample that you're looking at is Devin's blood since he's been introduced to the transformative agent. To say that it mutated is an understatement. It seems that the transformative must need that particular enzyme or its resulting secretions to properly replicate and overtake the organism."

"So it's not working in him like it works in you?"

"Correct. When the transformative encountered his enzyme deficient blood, it attempted to adapt its replicative strategy and found a way to overtake Devin's entire body with an altered form of itself."

"So that's why he's a werewolf instead of a vampire... shadesider... you know what I mean."

"Yes. I do. And you're right."

"Okay. I think I get the gist of that, but what do you have on the second monitor?"

"That's a little experiment that I did, introducing an updated version of the transformative to Devin's already infected blood."

"It's like a crime scene photo on the cellular level. All the cells have been torn to shreds."

"You're very good at interpreting these. Yes. It's as you said, all the cells have been destroyed. The old 'mutated' transformative and the new version of the transformative were incompatible and in their haste to try and assimilate each other, they destroyed the host cells in the process."

"Which means that if you gave that stuff to Devin, he would die within a few hours."

"I'd estimate eight to ten hours of pure hell."

"Please tell me that this last screen holds some good news."

"I don't know about that yet, but it holds hope."

"I'll take it. What are we looking at?"

"I gave Devin's blood sample some very specific... let's call it a vitamin shot. I did my best to replace what was missing from Devin's cells before he was transformed."

"Okay. So you gave his anemic cells a boost. Is that what this is?"

"No. After giving them the boost, I once again introduced the new transformative into the mix. At least on a cellular level, they seem to have undone much of the damage caused by the 'mutant' transformative."

"So all you have to do is give Devin a vitamin shot and then that super duper transformative stuff and he'll be alright?"

"You know nothing's ever that easy."

"Yes, I do know that. I was being sarcastic."

"I thought so." Rafe said wearily, then continued, "Devin doesn't need a vitamin shot, he needs an extensive course of therapy. It's going to take time for his cells to absorb enough of the essential nutrients for this to have a chance of working. And we've got to be very careful, because we'll only have one shot at this. If we give him the new transformative too early... you remember that hellish death we were talking about? That."

"Are you guys going to come and eat or not?" Dodger asked from the doorway.

"We're on our way." Rafe immediately answered.

"How long do you think the treatment will take?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Weeks... Months, maybe. We'll just have to keep monitoring his cellular viability and absorption rates."

"So I guess having him back to normal and ready to leave with me in the morning is a little too much to ask."

"That's never going to happen. Whether he ends up being a werewolf, a dhampir or something we've never encountered before, the one thing that's certain is that he can never go back to his old life."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Note:

I love how Rafe is able to condense all the information that we need to know to enable us to understand just what will need to happen. As I said before in some of the earlier chapters we have seen what happens when Rafe learns that some of his plans can't do what he hoped they could.

Rafe is very intelligent, and compassionate, but there are times when he feels his way of doing things is best for everyone, and sometimes, other people don't seem to agree with him in some of ideas.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher